Siena Names Scholarship for John Felice

HNP Communications Friar News

LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. — In recognition of his service to the poor and support of Siena College during his tenure as Provincial Minister, the school has established the Fr. John Felice, OFM, Scholarship.

The $1,000 endowed scholarship — the first one to be awarded in the 2010-2011 school year — will go to a student in need who answers the call to serve those less fortunate, and continues the Franciscan tradition that has been an integral part of Siena. Recipients may also be interested in pursuing a minor in Franciscan service and advocacy.

This mission illustrates John’s long-time commitment to serving the poor, especially the mentally ill in New York City, and his role in establishing Siena’s Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy, which celebrated its 10th anniversary last year, according to Siena president Kevin Mullen, OFM. As Provincial Minister, from 1996 to 2005, John challenged Siena College to create the center, with funding from the Province.

“John was the inspiration behind Siena’s Franciscan Center,” said Kevin. “Through his leadership, the Province endowed both St. Bonaventure University’s and Siena’s centers to make the connection to students between academics and service to the poor. John said to students at that time, ‘I want our students to be taught by the poor.’”

John was honored by Siena in October 2009 during the college’s celebration of the FCSA anniversary. The previous June, John commemorated the 25th anniversary of one of the Province’s three St. Francis Friends of the Poor residences he established in New York City in the 1980s.

Initial funding for the scholarship comes from a donor gift of $50,000, a $25,000 donation from the Province, and matching funds from alumni and friends. Agreement for the scholarship was signed in December 2009.